Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba has admitted he feels like he is “one of the most hated players in football” due to his combative style of play on the field.
Alba has starred for Barcelona following his return to the club from Valencia in 2012 under former boss Pep Guardiola. His time at the club has seen him become a Camp Nou icon, and he has made 360 appearances across competitions for the club. Alba also has five LaLiga titles, one Champions League crown, and multiple domestic Cups to his name.
However, despite his glories, Alba believes he is a player who is hated by rivals because of his playing style. “It is clear that if people know me through football, they would think I am one of the most hated players in football, that is clear,” he said during an interview with Movistar+.
Jordi Alba describes himself ? pic.twitter.com/AFqYTRP307
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“It is my way of playing and it’s what has led me to be the player I am today and to be where I am. Other people know me by how I am, as a very humble person that values everything in my life. The player Jordi has nothing to do with the human Jordi or the Jordi with his teammates. Yes, it’s true that the way I play is very heavy and I understand the hatred that people who do not know me can have me to me.”
Alba also spoke about his relationship with Lionel Messi, with whom he played alongside for nearly a decade now.
“We do not work on it,” he said of their connection on the pitch. “Both Leo and I look for each other a lot. If I give it to him, I know that it creates danger, soI always try to give it to him. Although rivals know us more and more every day, I also try to give it to other team-mates. [My relationship with Messi] is not something worked on. It comes out alone.
“I do more damage when I am not expected, when I take advantage of the space that my teammates generate. At Barca, it is more difficult to give assists, because other teams are closing more, but I am getting many and hopefully I will get many more.”
Alba has been instrumental for Ronald Koeman this season amid injuries to key defenders Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto. Barcelona are currently placed third in LaLiga, behind leaders Atletico Madrid and rivals Real Madrid